Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Holy John Green, Batman!

Before I launch into the meat of this post, I have some news. The contest I launched on the 6th didn't have as many entries as I would have liked (although that's largely my fault, since I didn't publicize it very well this time around). There were two complete entries (Brooke and Silent Pages), one partial entry (Andrew), and one I'm-going-to-enter-but-forgot (Michael). So...here's how it's going to work. Brooke and Silent Pages will each get a 5-page critique from me and an interview on the blog (if you could both e-mail me at jadencoal (at) gmail (dot) com, we can get the details worked out). Since the interview is the easier of the two options for my schedule, Andrew will also get one for his partial entry (e-mail me as well, and we'll get it set up). Unfortunately, I've got nothing for Michael but my undying gratitude for his spectacular commenting skills. :P

Also, because Blogger (finally) got threaded comments, I'm going back to them. I got rid of Intense Debate, so your comments won't show up on the posts, but I do still have access to all of them. Unfortunately, because of formatting, there is no comment button on old posts that had Intense Debate, so if you have something to say about one of those posts, you'll have to e-mail me.

Moving right along...this weekend was for books. I read three and a half novels in three days, which, given my recent schedule, is INSANE. I guess after having pretty much no time to read, my brain said "BINGE!" and I devoured a bunch of stuff.

I read Tom Leveen's debut, Party, which was surprisingly good. He's a local author, and I attended a dialogue workshop he taught on Saturday. It was, in a word, amazing. He's hilarious and passionate and informative, and I took away so many good tips and tricks from his class. I also left with a couple of book recommendations, which is never a bad thing. :) Naturally, when I finished the workshop, I had to go out and purchase his book, and it was every bit as funny and passionate as he was. It's about a party, and it's told from 11 points of view that overlap in such a way that you wouldn't be able to get the same story if one perspective was missing. It was wonderful. :D

I also read A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness, which was beautiful and creepy and heart-wrenching in a mere 200 pages. I won't tell you much about it, because I want you to experience it for yourself. I will tell you to go out and buy it (the hardcover, not the e-book...you need the art). Then read it, sometime when you're alone and can really appreciate the beauty of it. Then come back and tell me about it. :)

But the real gem of this weekend was this little beauty:

It was, without a doubt, one of the best books I've read in a long time. It made me laugh, and then cry, and then laugh again. We all know that's the mark of a really great story. I'm not even kidding when I say I was crying for 35 pages, and then turned a page and laughed hysterically through my tears. My husband thought I was losing my mind. :P I adore John Green, but none of his books really hit me in the heartstrings until this one. I love Augustus and Hazel, and I feel privileged to have spent the time with them that I did.

Oh, and did I mention that John Green, the legend of the contemporary YA genre, the leader of the Nerdfighters, is going to be in Phoenix next week? You all know where I'll be. :)

What did you read over the weekend?


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